Psalm 112:6 “For the righteous will never be moved; he will be remembered forever.”
What does it mean to ‘stand your ground’, or determined to hold your position in the midst of opposition?
We may have a point of view we refuse to be dissuaded from, a political line, or a course of action we’ve set in our hearts as the proper path, but how do we know we are on the right path?
When I was younger I might be swayed by a thought that seemed reasonable and if I thought I was right I would often act without taking other thoughts into consideration. When I attempt to hold my ground on an opinion the Lord reminds me (particularly through my wife) that there are other perspectives worth considering.
It’s hard to let go of a position when it seems to signal defeat, especially if it seems to show weakness. I thank God He has used my wife to make me more mature and holy.
When it comes to spiritual matters, the position we take can either be one of principle, founded in wisdom or it can be one of foolishness, springing forth from a heart of pride.
*What is the basis of your position?
When we hold so firmly to a thought, we must ask ourselves why we are so confident in our position. Could it be we are leaning on lessons we learned from a parent or persons in authority we highly respected? Maybe we had an experience we went through that set our minds on a particular course.
If aren’t careful, we can reject all sound wisdom just by having “made up our minds” on a particular matter.
I have talked with many atheists that have determined in their hearts there is no God and I have asked them what it would take for them to believe. They have revealed their need to see God personally descend from Heaven and show them that He is real. I have often questioned whether anything I would say would really convince them.
The children of Israel witnessed miraculous displays of God’s power in Egypt, witnessed a pillar of fire before them at night and cloud leading by day. They witnessed the Lord descend upon the mountain and heard His voice come from the clouds to their terror. How did they respond? Exodus 20:18-19 “When all the people witnessed the thunder and lightning, the sounding of the ram’s horn, and the mountain enveloped in smoke, they trembled and stood at a distance. “Speak to us yourself and we will listen,” they said to Moses. “But do not let God speak to us, or we will die.”
Once Moses descended from the mountain with the Moral law in his hands, rebellion had already broken out among the people.
Exodus 32:25 “Now when Moses saw that the people were unrestrained (for Aaron had not restrained them, to their shame among their enemies),”
Three thousand men died that day because of their rebellion and their unbelieving hearts could not continue with God. What more evidence did they need to see to convince them of the One true God?
*The rebellion among the people of Israel was not because they didn’t “believe there was a God”, it was because they refused to worship Him as God alone!
The Lord has appeared more than once to mankind throughout history and the way people responded still continues to baffle me today. The Pharisees rejected Jesus, regardless of how many miracles He performed. One story that particularly stood out was when Jesus healed the man who was blind from birth in John 9.
vs. 6-7 “When He had said these things, He spat on the ground and made clay with the saliva; and He anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay. And He said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which is translated, Sent). So he went and washed, and came back seeing.”
This man who was well known among his neighbors had to convince them himself that it was indeed him who had been blind. It was one thing to have to deal with this infirmity all his life, now he had to convince them that it was he who could see.
Vs.13-16 “They brought him who formerly was blind to the Pharisees. Now it was a Sabbath when Jesus made the clay and opened his eyes. Then the Pharisees also asked him again how he had received his sight. He said to them, “He put clay on my eyes, and I washed, and I see.”Therefore some of the Pharisees said, “This Man is not from God, because He does not keep the Sabbath.”Others said, “How can a man who is a sinner do such signs?” And there was a division among them.”
Do you see the response of people who are set in their ways?
The first reaction of the Pharisees was skepticism, accusation, and condemnation. After their initial reaction, you would have thought they would soften up and at least consider the possibility that a miracle had happened, but to the contrary, all it did was harden their hearts.
John 9:18-19 “But the Jews did not believe concerning him, that he had been blind and received his sight, until they called the parents of him who had received his sight. And they asked them, saying, “Is this your son, who you say was born blind? How then does he now see?”
The skepticism exhibited by these men revealed the position of their hearts before God. No matter what happened, they would not believe. The pharisees believed Jesus was a sinner and they were determined to prove it. They brought the healed man back to their chamber and questioned him again, this time the man spoke as plainly as he could.
vs.25 “He answered and said, “Whether He is a sinner or not I do not know. One thing I know: that though I was blind, now I see.”
The reality for a person who has experienced God is either a response of greater hardness as exhibited by the pharisees or tenderness toward God.
The Immovable Believer
Being unmovable isn’t always a bad position to be in.
As we survey God’s Word we see the conclusive characteristics of a man of God.
“He who does these things shall never be moved.”
To enter into the presence of God requires one to be presentable.
Psalm 15:1-3 “Lord, who may abide in Your tabernacle?
Who may dwell in Your holy hill?
“He who walks uprightly,
And works righteousness,
And speaks the truth in his heart;
He who does not backbite with his tongue,
Nor does evil to his neighbor,
Nor does he take up a reproach against his friend;”
- The man established in God lives according to God’s standard.
- His righteousness is reflected in his obedience to the law.
- His heart is not deceptively false but he lives by the truth.
- He loves God by being obedient.
- He loves God by loving his neighbor.
vs. 4-5 In whose eyes a vile person is despised,
But he honors those who fear the Lord;
He who swears to his own hurt and does not change;
He who does not put out his money at usury,
Nor does he take a bribe against the innocent.
The man who has been established in God’s Kingdom hates evil and yet rejoices in the truth. He doesn’t make vows on God’s behalf but owes up to his own debt…he is faithful. He is kind to the poor and defends those who have been falsely accused.
This man will NEVER BE MOVED!
*What is it that you hold so tightly to? Have you been convinced the door is closed, that there is no room for growth or a change in perspective? No matter how much we have grown, we must always be ready to hear.
We don’t compromise in areas of principle. Principles in God’s Word are always true.
~Jesus is the only way to salvation.
~Salvation is only received by grace.
These principles and many others are non-negotiable in God’s Kingdom. If we want to grow in depth of knowledge, we must receive that revelation of God to us.
The blind man received it, the pharisees rejected it. The blind man became wiser, the pharisees stepped further into darkness.
The response of those hardened by self-righteousness:
John 9:18 “They still did not believe that he had been blind and had received his sight until they sent for the man’s parents.”
The response of a man tender toward God:
John 9:35-38 “Jesus heard that they had cast him out, and having found him he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” He answered, “And who is he, sir, that I may believe in him?” Jesus said to him, “You have seen him, and it is he who is speaking to you.” He said, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshiped him.
It is important that we consider our positions and ask ourselves if what we believe in is our truth or God’s Truth? Today, there is a myriad of various philosophies and doctrines ready to deceive, we must not be swayed in our steadfast position in Christ. Jesus maintained many patterns of resilience and a commitment to the Truth, if God has revealed these to you, let them become bulwarks of faith in your life. If God has shown you that your position is wrong, as Jesus did to the Pharisees, it would be wise to reconsider your position.
John 14:6 “Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”
Truth comes by way of God. God reveals His Truth primarily through His Word. For those who walk in faithfulness, you will see the Word revealed in weakness. The story of the blind man is a classic portrayal of how God uses the menial and weak to reveal His strength and power. The world hates weakness, the pride of man is conflicted by the call to humility and repentance.
The call to follow Jesus is not for those who relish their position but for those who are willing to forfeit their lives for Christ.
True strength is found in God’s strength—the ones who understand this position will never be moved.